Richard Marx, who suffers from chronic anxiety and depression, is not happy about the government’s plans for welfare reform.
“I’ve got concerns that because I can do a few hours voluntary work they will think I can do paid work,” he says.
He believes that the proposals “could make people with mental health problems a lot worse and might even leave them feeling suicidal. A lot of people find it hard to cope with work”.
The idea of being forced off benefits and into work worries him personally.
“I do want to get back into paid employment at some point down the line but I don’t feel ready for it at the moment because of the nature of my mental health problem.”
He also has concerns as to whether the jobs exist for people with mental health problems, or whether people will be forced to take what they can, regardless.
“I don’t think the jobs are out there. A lot of people with mental health problems are qualified and the jobs offered might be low paid or menial. If they don’t enjoy doing the job then obviously it will affect their health and motivation. It could cause them to have a relapse and end up in the vicious cycle again.”